We’ve done many comparisons on this site, comparing VWs and Audis. However, this is our first Volkswagen vs Audi, and what better way to compare the two brands’ large SUVs. In this article, we will be comparing the VW Atlas vs Audi Q7. When it comes to both models, there are many differences but also some similarities. We’ll be covering size, performance, reliability, common problems, and more to assist in deciding which model is best for you.
VW Atlas vs Audi Q7 – The Basics
The VW Atlas was first introduced in 2017 and is still being produced today. It is a mid-size SUV for Volkswagen that is also referred to as the Volkswagen Teramont outside of the US. Since it was introduced in 2017, there has only been one generation, the CA1. However, there was already a facelift in 2021, in which Volkswagen not only refreshed the Atlas but introduced the Cross Sport. It was built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform. The trims available for the Atlas are SE, SE w/ tech, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line.
The Audi Q7 was first introduced in 2006 and is still being produced today. It is a mid-size luxury SUV for Audi that was actually the first SUV offering from Audi. Since its introduction in 2006, there have been two generations: 4L and 4M. The 4L was built on the PL71 platform, while the 4M was built on the MLB Evo platform. The trims available for the Q7 are Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. There is a sport variant of the Q7 and it goes by SQ7.
Volkswagen Atlas Generation
- CA1 Atlas (2017-Present)
Audi Q7 Generations
- 4L Q7 (2006 – 2014)
- 4M Q7 (2015 – Present)
VW Atlas vs Audi Q7 Price
In this portion, we will be going over brand new 2022, as of this writing, model prices and used prices for the Atlas and Q7. This is going to be one of the biggest differences when it comes to these two vehicles.
New Volkswagen Atlas Price
In this portion, we will be going over the new Atlas 2022, as of this writing, model year prices. There are 5 different trims: SE, SE w/ tech, SEL, SEL R-Line, SEL Premium R-Line. An Atlas SE starts at $35,530, with a 4motion upgrade starting at $37,430. The Atlas SE with Technology has two separate engines to choose from: a 2.0T and a 3.6L V6. An Atlas SE w/ tech with a 2.0T starts at $39,700, with a 4motion upgrade starting at $41,600. While the Atlas SE w/ tech with a 3.6L V6 starts at $41,450, with a 4motion upgrade starting at $43,350. An Atlas SEL also comes with two different engines: 2.0T 4motion and 3.6L V6 4motion. The Atlas SEL with a 2.0T 4motion starts at $45,300, while the 3.6L V6 starts at $47,050.
The Atlas SEL R-Line and SEL Premium R-Line only come with the 3.6L V6 4motion engine. An Atlas SEL R-Line starts at $48,450, while the SEL Premium R-Line starts at $52,700.
New Audi Q7 Price
In this portion, we will be going over the new Q7 2022, as of this writing, model year prices. There are 2 different engines for the Q7: 45 TFSI, and 55 TFSI. A Premium Q7 45 TFSI quattro® starts at $57,500, and a Premium Plus Q7 45 TFSI quattro® starts at $60,400. While a Premium Q7 55 TFSI quattro® starts at $62,500, a Premium Plus Q7 55 TFSI quattro® starts at $66,100, and lastly, a Prestige Q7 55 TFSI quattro® starts at $73,300. Lastly, the SQ7 offers two trims and a 4.0L V8 engine. A Premium Plus SQ7 starts at $88,500, while the Prestige SQ7 starts at $93,500.
Used Volkswagen Atlas & Audi Q7 Prices
When it comes to used VW Atlas’ vs Audi Q7s, pricing is pretty much consistent with new prices. With that, we mean that since the Q7 is a luxury vehicle, it tends to be a bit more expensive. Since the Atlas hasn’t been around for a while, we will be basing prices on recent Atlas’ and Q7s. A used Atlas price ranges from $26,998 – $52,998* with an average price overall of $37,000, depending on model year and mileage. A used 4M Q7s price ranges from $31,998 – $60,998* with an average price overall of $44,000, depending on model year and mileage. The Q7 is more expensive on the new and used side. So, is the Audi Q7 worth the extra money?
*At the time of writing this article, we believe we are in a market where used vehicles are inflated, so consider that when seeing the used prices above.
General Atlas & Audi Q7 Topics
VW Atlas vs Audi Q7 Size
Below are some basic details about the size and weight differences seen between the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2022 Audi Q7.
VW Atlas vs Audi Q7
With being different brands, the size of both models is relatively similar. It honestly surprised us that the Atlas’ dimensions are larger than the Q7, aside from the curb weight. The Atlas is longer, wider, and taller than the Q7 and offers more cargo space. Something that is important to point out is the seating capacity. Given that both can seat 7, this means both models are third-row seated SUVs. The Atlas, without any seats down, gets 20.6ft³, with the third-row seat down gets 55.5ft³, and with both rows down gets 96.8ft³. The Q7, without any seats down, gets 14.2ft³, with the third-row seat down gets 35.7ft³, and with both rows down gets 69.6ft³.
VW Atlas vs Audi Q7 Performance
For consistencies sake, we will be using the 2022 Atlas and 2022 Audi Q7 factory performance specs. Performance is another pretty big difference between these two vehicles.
Engines, Drivetrain, & Fuel Economy
VW Atlas Performance
As stated above, the Atlas has two different engine options: 2.0T TFSI, and 3.6L V6. The 2.0T can be found on the SE, SE with Technology, and SEL. The 2.0T engine puts out 235hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and offers an upgraded option for VW’s AWD 4motion technology. The 3.6L V6 can be found on the SE with Technology, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. The 3.6L V6 engine puts out 276hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and offers an upgraded option for VW’s AWD 4motion technology. Both engines feature an 8-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission.
When it comes to gas mileage, both engines get different fuel economies depending on the drivetrain. An FWD 2.0T gets 21mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 23 with an 18.6gal fuel tank. And the 4motion 2.0T gets 20mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 22 with an 18.6gal fuel tank. An FWD 3.6L gets 18mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 21 with an 18.6gal fuel tank. And the 4motion 3.6L gets 17mpg in the city and 23mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 20 with an 18.6gal fuel tank.
Audi Q7 Performance
As stated above, the Q7 has two different engine options: 45 TFSI (2.0T TFSI), and 55 TFSI (3.0T TFSI). The 45 TFSI engine can only be found in the Premium and Premium Plus trim. While the 55 TFSI can be found in all three trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Quattro®, Audi’s AWD system, and an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission come standard on both engines. The 45 TFSI quattro® engine puts out 248hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, and the 55 TFSI quattro® engine puts down 335hp and 369lb-ft of torque.
A 45 TFSI engine gets 20mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 22 with a 22.5gal fuel tank. Lastly, the 55 TFSI gets 18mpg in the city and 23mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 20 with a 22.5gal fuel tank.
VW Atlas & Audi Q7 Reliability and Common Problems
Unfortunately, since the Atlas has only been out for 5 years, there isn’t much data to go off of for reliability. However, Consumer Reports rates the VW Atlas 21st out of 26 all mid-size SUVs. If you happen to be in the market for a used Atlas, look for a 2021 model year if possible.
Common problems that are seen in Atlas’ are as followed: premature fuel pump failure, unexpected coolant loss, faulty fuel injectors, a faulty clock spring, and strange engine noise on shutdown. Given that there is a small sample size of Atlas’, so it is difficult to provide a mileage range given there age. It has been said that there are many “electrical gremlins” that haunt the Atlas’, according to verified owners on certain forums. We would highly advise getting the best warranty package offered regardless of the model year. See below for a more in-depth article on the Volkswagen Atlas.
The Audi Q7s reliability is average. RepairPal rated it a 2.5 out of 5, which is the average for all luxury full-size SUVs. This puts the Q7 8th out of 19 for all luxury full-size SUVs. Given the Q7 is more expensive, the maintenance costs will tend to be higher. Therefore, the average annual maintenance cost for an Audi Q7 is $1,185, which is slightly above the $1,127 average ownership cost for all luxury full-size SUVs. If you happen to be in the market for a used Q7, look for 2006, 2010, 2016, and 2019-2021 model years if possible.
Common problems that are seen in Q7s are as followed: ignition coil and spark plug failure, premature CV boot failure, fuel pump flange failure, timing chain tensioner failure, N80 valve failure. If a Q7 is properly maintained, we’ve seen them last up to 150,000-200,000 miles, while some can last up to 300,000 miles with diesel engines. See below for a more in-depth article on the Audi Q7.
VW Atlas vs Audi Q7 – Which is Better?
The question everyone came here for, which is better the VW Atlas vs Audi Q7. We feel this is a rather subjective question because each consumer needs vehicles for different reasons. To get the biggest bang for your buck, we would advise going with the VW Atlas. However, if the Audi Q7 is in your budget, we would say go with it. The Atlas is a great budget-friendly alternative to the Q7 because it offers many similar features to the Q7 when it comes to size. Both have 5-star safety ratings. We would lean on the Q7 to have a better interior and better finishes. Depending on which engine is chosen, the Atlas gets better gas mileage. The Q7 has a more powerful engine. Both have similar tech safety features. So, when it comes to which is better, this is based on consumer funds.
VW Atlas vs Audi Q7 Conclusion
To wrap this up, we hope the information provided assists you in your purchasing decision. We know that purchasing a vehicle, especially a luxury vehicle, is a big decision. In short, the Volkswagen Atlas is a cheaper alternative to the Audi Q7. The Audi Q7 is a more luxurious SUV for those looking to splurge on more tech. If you have had experience with either the Volkswagen Atlas or the Audi Q7, let us know in the comments. This will not only assist us in our research but also assist future readers with their purchasing decisions.